January 2013


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John PetzeEMAIL INTERVIEWJohn Petze and Ken Sinclair

John Petze, Principal, SkyFoundry

John Petze, C.E.M., is a partner in SkyFoundry, the developers of SkySpark™, an analytics platform for building, energy and equipment data. John has over 30 years of experience in building automation, energy management and M2M, having served in senior level positions for manufacturers of hardware and software products including Tridium, Andover Controls, and Cisco Systems. At SkyFoundry he rejoins Brian Frank, co-founder and chief architect of Tridium’s Niagara Framework, as they look to bring the next generation of information analytics to the “Internet of Things”.

Haystack Connect 2013 – A New Industry Event

Bringing together the companies, communities and people who are redefining smart and connected systems
April 29-May 2, 2013, Chattanoogan Hotel, Chattanooga, TN.

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Sinclair:  John, I recently learned about a new industry event that you have been helping to launch called Haystack Connect. Can you tell us about it?

Petze:  Hi Ken I would be happy to. The event is called Haystack Connect and it's planned for April 29-May 2, 2013. Here’s a bit of background that explains what it is and how it came about.

During conversations with a number of companies offering leading edge technology for BAS, energy management, and smart buildings, we were discussing the fact that there isn’t a conference that really caters to the technology oriented systems integrators anymore. There are a variety of events out there. Some are under the control of a single manufacturer. Some are huge events where the needs of systems integrators, technology providers and their customers are lost in a sea of unrelated products and other are too narrowly focused.

What the people we talked to saw was a need for a conference that directly serves the needs of the customers, systems integrators and technology vendors who are on the leading edge of applying smart devices and smart buildings technology. So a group of us have gotten together to produce this new event – Haystack Connect.

The event is really about the vision that a connected community and connected ecosystem can move the industry forward in ways that no single supplier can. In fact, the concept of the importance of connected communities is something you have been talking about a lot recently. It’s a key driver in the industry.

Sinclair:  Where does the name Haystack Connect come from?

Petze:  We have chosen to take our inspiration and event name and from the success of the open source community that is addressing the challenges of making smart device data work seamlessly across applications of all types - project-haystack.org. Automated Buildings has published articles about project-haystack over the past two years and the standards work has garnered a strong following, to the point that it is now being specified in major projects. Recent work by the community has resulted in the release of a new web-services protocol based on haystack concepts. We think that the idea of an open source community translates well to the need for an event that is produced by the community, for the community, and many of the sponsors of the event are active with project-haystack.  See previous interview here:

Sinclair:  So tell us the full details on the event – where, when, and how much?

Petze:  The best way to get all of the details is to go to the Haystack Connect website. You can find it at: http://haystackconnect.org/  The event will be held April 29 – May 2 at the Chattanoogan Hotel, Chattanooga, TN. It’s a great venue for this type of meeting. The Haystack Connect event will take the entire hotel and conference center.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]Sinclair:  Anything else we should know?

Petze:  YES! There is one other very important element of the Haystack Connect event. Haystack Connect is designed to enable sponsors to conduct their own meetings in conjunction with the event. This is a big change from most events, which discourage sponsors from hosting their own private meetings. Haystack Connect ENCOURAGES it and helps companies make it happen with minimal planning and cost. From technical training sessions to partner meetings, the Haystack Connect format has been specifically designed to allow sponsors and industry associations to conduct their own meetings adjacent to the main meeting agenda. Space, refreshments and A/V is provided with Gold & Platinum sponsorship packages.

Sinclair:  Can you tell me some of the companies who are on-board as sponsors?

Petze:  We have had tremendous response and confirmation of the vision for the event and are well on our way to selling out all sponsor and exhibitor slots.  As of today we have the following Platinum and Gold sponsors.

Platinum Sponsors: Daintree Networks, EasyIO, J2 Innovations, Lynxspring, SkyFoundry, and Smartcom/Infergence

Gold Sponsors: ActiveLogix, AIC Wireless, BAS Services and Graphics, Can2Go, and NOVO Integration

Exhibitors: Eagle Technology

There is still room for more sponsors and exhibitors and attendee registration is open as well. And on the topic of cost, we have kept the cost very low for attendees at $495 for early bird registrations and $595 after Jan 31. And one last thing, space is limited to the first 250 attendees for this inaugural event.


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